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Due to the extraordinary need for social distancing, The University of Alabama is operating under limited business operations, which includes essential staffing and remote work assignments. Our goal is to promote social distancing and limit on campus work to the fullest extent possible.

While employees in the department of communications are working remotely, they are available to assist members of the media. Reporters are encouraged to contact the sources below or to use our expert directory to find contact information for other subject matter experts.


UA MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF APRIL 27, 2011 TORNADO April 27 marks nine years since the 2011 tornadoes that struck Tuscaloosa and the region. Denny Chimes will ring in remembrance at 5:13 p.m. April 27. The chimes will sound 53 times in honor of those who died in Tuscaloosa County, including six UA students and one UA employee who had taken shelter off campus. UA is also encouraging students, faculty and staff to spread the Crimson Spirit on this anniversary by doing simple acts of kindness.

UA PARENTING ASSISTANCE LINE OFFERS SUPPORT, ADVICE The University of Alabama’s Parenting Assistance Line, also called PAL, is a free, confidential and anonymous statewide resource for parents and caregivers seeking advice and help on how to deal with their children. Parents can reach out through telephone, text, online chat or the PAL Facebook page. Currently, the primary topics they are receiving questions about are handling homework, balancing lesson plans between multiple children in different grades and managing the stress of having children at home all day. To set up a video or phone interview, contact Amy Walker at

UA OPERA STUDENTS SEND THE POWER OF SONG Students in UA’s opera theatre program are using videoconferencing and phone calls to sing to the elderly and others who may be self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic. The project was started by Dr. Paul Houghtaling, professor of opera in the UA School of Music when he called a few friends to check on them. The calls always ended in a song. He decided a short tune could be beneficial for people feeling down, and asked the University’s Opera Guild and those in the opera theatre program’s mailing list if they knew of people who might like a surprise. To set up a video or phone interview, contact Houghtaling at

UA SENIOR WORKING PANDEMIC FRONT LINES IN NYC AREA – Aerospace engineering student John Glidden III is volunteering as an EMT and at a drive-thru virus testing site in a suburb of New York City. To set up a video or phone interview with the student, contact Adam Jones, UA Communications,


HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY DOWN, NOT OUT While a variety of industries have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry has taken a major hit due to social distancing. “People aren’t traveling, hotels are closing, conferences are being canceled, restaurants are having to reinvent the way they serve consumers and everyone has taken a substantial financial hit,” said Dr. Kimberly Severt, director of UA’s hospitality management program. “But the industry is resilient and will eventually rebound. There are many dedicated and innovative people in the hospitality industry who are determined to rebound from this and, together, we will. Severt can be reached at

SOCIAL ISOLATION PROBLEMATIC TO PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH Dr. Sha-Rhonda Green, an assistant professor of social work, says that when too much time is spent in non-self-imposed social isolation, many mental, physical and developmental detrimental effects occur. Green can be reached at

SOME INDUSTRIES WILL THRIVE DURING THE PANDEMIC Dr. Erik Johnson, assistant professor of economics, finance and legal studies at The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business, offers a perspective on the outlook for large and small businesses along with some insight on what small businesses can do during this time to bring in customers. “(Economic) uncertainty also makes it difficult for economists to predict which industries will survive and thrive in the long run,” he said. “However, there is a real possibility of structural changes in the global economy that will affect domestic industries.” Johnson can be reached at

UA EXPERTS AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS ISSUES AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC  – Faculty at The University of Alabama are available to discuss aspects of the coronavirus pandemic including topics related to health care, education and the economy. This list will be updated, so check back often for new sources. For assistance with reaching any of these sources or for topics not highlighted, please contact Shane Dorrill, assistant director of communications, at

NEED A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT ON TOPICS MAKING NEWS? – See our frequently updated expert directory.